Stefan Cameron on Forms
Building intelligent forms using Adobe LiveCycle Designer

Archive for November, 2008

MAX 2008 Tutorial – Part 3 – Form Guide

Welcome to the third and final part of a three-part post series tutorial on importing data into a form guide and a PDF. The first part covered the form design, the second part covered the Flex code and the third part will cover designing and debugging the form guide that will complete the solution.

Form Guide Layout

The goal is to design a form guide which will provide two panels: one for user options and the other for results.

The first panel will expose the 4 fields inside the GuideObjects subform (which are only meant to be exposed in the form guide — hence why the GuideObjects subform has the Initialize script to hide it if the host isn’t “Flash”). The user will have the option to choose an actor and/or category for further filtering and will then click on the GetMovies button to execute the request on the Movie Service. When the requested XML is returned to the form guide, the GetMovies result handler will convert the XML into instances of MovieRow inside the Listing table.

The second panel will use a repeater layout to expose the Listing table’s contents within the form guide however this panel will only be accessible if the movie query returned 1 or more results.

Once the results are in, the user will then be able to switch (“flip”) to the PDF view which will show the Listing table in the form, from which the user could then print or archive the results.

Continue reading…

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 19th, 2008
Filed under Acrobat,Bugs,Conferences,Debugging,Form Guides,Scripting,Tables,Tutorials

MAX 2008 Tutorial – Part 2 – Flex Code

Welcome to the second in a three-part post series on importing data into a form guide (and, by extension, a PDF form). In the first part, we designed the XFA form that will provide us with the print/archive view of the movies retrieved from the Movie Service. The second part will focus on the special Flex code we will need to include in the form which will ultimately be executed by Flash when it runs in the form guide which we’ll design in part 3.

Flex Code in XFA Forms

The key to today’s tutorial is understanding when and where the script you write in an XFA form (JavaScript or FormCalc) is compiled or interpreted.

Continue reading…

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 18th, 2008
Filed under Conferences,Designer,Form Guides,Instance Manager,Scripting,Tables,Tutorials,XFA

MAX 2008 Tutorial – Part 1 – Designing the Form

This is the first part in a multi-part post series for Adobe MAX 2008 designed to show you how extend a form guide to import data from a website without using FlexBuilder. If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you have a look at the demo on last Friday’s tutorial preview post to get a sense of what we’re going to be building. In this first part, we will build the form necessary to provide the print/archive capabilities for the Movie Catalog.

Throughout the tutorial, I will assume that you’ve used Designer already and you know about things like flowed vs positioned subforms. I will also assume that you’re familiar with Guide Builder’s interface for designing Form Guides.

Software Requirements

Before we get started, make sure you’re using Designer 8.2.1 SP1 and Guide Builder 8.2.1 SP1. You can download an evaluation version of Designer and Guide Builder when you download the Acrobat 9.0 Pro trial. If you haven’t installed SP1 yet, you can download it from here (note that you only need to install the Designer SP1 update — you don’t need Workbench or even LiveCycle ES to run through this tutorial).

If you already have Designer but you don’t have Acrobat, you can use Reader 9.0 to go through the tutorial.

Continue reading…

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 17th, 2008
Filed under Conferences,Data Binding,Designer,Scripting,Tables,Tutorials,XFA

MAX 2008 Tutorial – Preview

As I mentioned earlier, I’m working on a tutorial in the spirit of the Adobe MAX 2008 conference which I’ll make available next week. There will be 3 posts, one for each day of the conference.

This tutorial will show you how to (1) design a form with a table that has a repeating row, (2) add some Flex code to it that will enable the use of the mx.rpc.http.HTTPService class for retrieving data from my Movie Service and (3) design a form guide that will capture the data from the service and transfer it into the PDF which could then be used to print or archive the movie listings.

In an effort to wet your appetite, I thought I would get the ball rolling by showing a little preview of the final solution.

Be sure to come back every day, Monday to Wednesday next week (November 17-19, 2008), to get the full tutorial.

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 14th, 2008
Filed under Acrobat,Conferences,Designer,Form Guides,Tutorials

If I were going to MAX 2008

There’s less than a week to go and I don’t have a ticket to MAX 2008 yet. It’s unfortunate since I was hoping to catch-up with a few colleagues, meet some of my readers and get a chance to present a couple of things: For one, the work we’ve been doing on Adobe’s new Correspondence Management Solution Accelerator showcases some pretty cool PDF/Flex interaction. Thankfully, you can at least see a demo by attending the LiveCycle ES and Adobe Solution Accelerators session while you’re there. I also would’ve liked to demonstrate a different way to import data into a dynamic PDF form using Flex via a Form Guide without using FlexBuilder (assuming you know your Flex syntax and the mx.rpc.http.HTTPService class).

But why hold back? Christmas will soon be here and in the spirit of giving, I figured I would still do my part remotely and write a series of posts over the course of the conference next week that will show you how to do the data import via Flex. I hope you’ll find it useful.

Stay tuned…

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 11th, 2008
Filed under Conferences